The Royal Thai Police have been trending this week, sharing the headlines with volatile young Chinese micro-starlets. The giddy celebs on one hand commended the cops for providing superb customer service, and while on the other, ran to Interpol to complain about “corruption.”
It all started innocently enough when a so-called influencer named only as “Adele” – a vlogger with a few thousand followers – arrived at Suvarnabhumi International Airport from Shanghai. Things began to go awry when she was given a police escort to her hotel in Pattaya. She rode in a taxi with her mother, while a police vehicle, siren blaring, cleared her way.
Adele squealed with delight at the VIP treatment and happily told her followers in a tacky TikTok video that…
“Money can buy anything from the Thai police.”
Perhaps it can, perhaps not. In any case, she opened a can of worms and, once out of their can, the worms squirmed all the way to the PM’s office, accused of organising the VIP treatment. Three of the police officers involved are in serious hot water, but so far, it’s all still cool at Phitsanulok Mansion.
Meanwhile in Bangkok
Meanwhile, in Bangkok, unknown Taiwanese actor Charlene An (variously An Yu-Qing, Yu Qing An) said she was the victim of a shakedown by Thailand’s “bastard police” while on holiday. Her claim made national headlines in Taiwan, to the dismay of Thai tourism operators.
The talented actor said police stopped her taxi at a checkpoint close to the Chinese Embassy on Ratchadaphisek Road on the night of January 4 and detained her and her friends for two hours. She said the police eventually released them in return for a payment of 27,000 baht (US$800), which seems like a strange amount to demand from anyone in cash, but it’s perhaps all they had.
Metropolitan Police Bureau’s Deputy Commissioner Maj-Gen Samroeng Suanthong discussed the incident with the six officers involved at Huai Khwang Police Station and was not pleased with what he found.
The officers admitted to stopping the Taiwanese group during a routine traffic safety operations but insist they had not taken cash from them. Samroeng said the six policemen had difficulty communicating with the tourists using English and hand gestures, as the group spoke only Chinese.
“The actor appeared drunk and did not have her passport,” he said.
Bow at the feet of the ‘bastard police’
The officers released the group with a warning only, as they were not considered any kind of threat. Officers also warned the actor that her e-cigarette was illegal in Thailand, but did not fine her.
An Yu-Qing claimed that she and a female companion were taken to a police station where they weren’t allowed to sit down and were “terrorised” like criminals. Besides being shaken down, she had to apologise repeatedly in Thai and “almost bow to the feet of the police” before she and her friends were released.
Samroeng said it would be difficult to summon the Taiwanese actor to give her side of the story, but CCTV camera footage tells a very different story from An’s account.
Police spokesperson Archayon Kraithong insisted that officers had taken no money from the actor’s group and had released the tourists after they became agitated. He denied that the officers had taken the Taiwanese group to “a spot where there were no CCTV cameras,” as the actor had suggested.
The ‘bastards’ fight back
A camera outside the Chinese embassy on Ratchadaphisek Road and two other cameras on a pedestrian bridge captured the whole event.
In the footage, a red Mazda 2 Grab taxi was stopped by police at a security checkpoint at 2.27am. An and the other three passengers got out of the car and stood on the pavement while talking with the officers for a long time. An orange taxi eventually came and picked them up.
From start to finish, neither the actor nor any of the three passengers were seen walking into “an alley” with police as claimed.
The first Grab driver who picked up the four and drove them to where they were stopped by the police has been questioned by investigators. The police have located, but have not yet questioned, the driver of the orange taxi.
The driver of the Mazda said…
“Of course, I remember that woman in the news. She was speaking loudly all the time while sitting in the back seat, looking obviously drunk.”
The driver explained that when officers asked to see their passports, the entire group went berserk and began shouting in Chinese. After waiting with the passengers for about an hour, they paid him off and he left.
Call the cops on the cops – Interpol is coming!
As for the actor, the RTP had contacted her via her Instagram message inbox asking for more information about the incident. An sent back the GPS location of where she claimed the extortion took place and promised to provide more details through Taiwanese authorities.
That prompted the RTP to contact Taiwan’s police themselves but they needn’t have bothered, Angry An has already taken the matter further. She wrote on her Instagram page on Friday that she plans to raise the issue with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol).
To be continued…
Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.
Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.
Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.